The lifeless body of a man was found this Saturday in the security perimeter established by the eruption of the Cumbre Vieja volcano on the Spanish island of La Palma, in the Canary Islands, authorities announced.
The eruption, which has been going on for almost two months (56 days), had so far not caused any deaths, but lava flows and gas emissions have forced authorities to close off part of the island’s territory.
It is in this area that the body of a man was found, in the municipality of El Paso, as confirmed to AFP by the Civil Guard, without giving more details about the identity of the victim, the circumstances of his death or the discovery of his body.
Authorities allowed timely access to the area so that residents can retrieve their personal belongings, added the Civil Guard.
“At this moment only one person has died,” Miguel Angel Morcuende, technical director of the Canary Islands Volcanic Emergency Plan (Pevolca), said at a press conference.
“We are waiting for the corresponding autopsy to be carried out to find out what the cause of death is,” he added.
The Cumbre Vieja entered its eruptive phase on September 19, when it emitted spectacular rivers of lava that began a slow descent until finally reaching the sea, ten days later.
The fiery flows of magma – gray and orange – have been destroying everything in their path, and they already cover 1,018 hectares.
This is the third eruption of a volcano on La Palma in the last century, after San Juan in 1949 and Teneguía in 1971.
Both left a total of three deaths, two of them due to inhalation of toxic gases, although they caused less damage than that of the Cumbre Vieja, since in those decades the island was less populated.
mig / jlo / meb / me